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March 17, 2013

how yoga is helping me survive winter

These past few weeks of slipping and sliding while trying to run outside with frigid wind cutting through my running tights have made me rethink my relationship with running, at least until spring decides to come to Minneapolis. Until then, there's yoga.

i only ran this fast to avoid freezing to death. true story.
I've been going to 3-4 classes a week. A couple of weeks ago, something just clicked and I found myself actually breathing in the right rhythm and not having to struggle to keep up. In every class since, more keeps coming together. I can now hold crow and am even attempting supported headstands.
liquid courage and someone is holding my feet

I feel deliciously flexible. In my first classes during yoga week, I could barely touch my toes. Now it feels great to take a deep stretch. With each class I take, I'm able to do more than I was in the previous class. I love the challenge.

Yoga teaches you to focus on your breath. That focus can pull you through the last few seconds of holding a tough pose, when your legs are shaking and you think you're going to fall over. During a class, the instructor said that yoga is about finding calm in discomfort. And it's so true.
 
Earlier this week I found this article about how yoga actually changes your brain. The author writes: I came to realize that yoga works not because the poses are relaxing, but because they are stressful.  It is your attempts to remain calm during this stress that create yoga's greatest neurobiological benefit.

Science jargon and new age mumbo jumbo aside, all I can tell you is that I feel good. And that feels great.

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